Why does an exothermic process lead to an increase in entropy?






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Adriana Rangel 1A
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:04 am

Why does an exothermic process lead to an increase in entropy?

Postby Adriana Rangel 1A » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:50 pm

I thought an exothermic process would lead to a decrease in entropy due to the fact that it is losing heat. When a substance loses heat then wouldn't it go from gas to liquid to solid and therefore entropy is decreasing?

Danah Albaaj 1I
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:07 am

Re: Why does an exothermic process lead to an increase in entropy?

Postby Danah Albaaj 1I » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:02 pm

Exothermic processes lead to an increase in entropy because the heat is being released into the surroundings which causes the overall entropy to increase. In this situation, the change in entropy of the surroundings will be greater than that of the system (exothermic process), which is why it is important to distinguish which entropy you are looking at.

Angela G 2K
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Re: Why does an exothermic process lead to an increase in entropy?

Postby Angela G 2K » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:04 pm

An exothermic process leads to an increase in the entropy of the surroundings, since delta S (surroundings) = - (delta H)/T. For an exothermic reaction, the change in enthalpy is negative, making the change in entropy of the surroundings positive. The entropy of the system will not increase, but the total entropy change will still be positive.

Hellen Truong 2J
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Re: Why does an exothermic process lead to an increase in entropy?

Postby Hellen Truong 2J » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:16 pm

Additionally, when exothermic processes release heat, the number of microstates for the surroundings is increased, so entropy still goes up! The second law of thermodynamics stays true.


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